A trip to heaven, aka Colorado

Alright, back to the promised normal, upbeat posts!  In August I was asked to come down and work in Golden (really Lakewood) CO for two weeks by our regional office, so after Sydney and I finished our great Labor Day weekend in South Dakota (2 dogs + 2 people = Fun in SD & Sunday Gulch hike…on a Sunday of course), we made the trek down to the Denver area.

It seemed like as soon as we crossed the border into Colorado, the mountains starting coming into view; I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road and not focusing on their beauty.

Since Sydney had to be cooped up in a studio apartment style room all day, I decided that we would get out every afternoon when I was done with work.  The first day we hit up Golden Gate Canyon State Park at the recommendation of both Whitney and Heather.  After driving through the canyon and park a bit, we stopped at the trailhead for the Black Bear trail.  This trail has an elevation gain of over 1100ft and is 3.4 miles roundtrip.  It was a gorgeous hike with some small rock scrambles in parts, which Sydney loved.  After about a mile, I decided to make the hike into a trail run because of my concern for fading daylight (left me dang headlamp in the car!).

My lil’ rock scrambler

That is one funky tree on Black Bear trail

The next day I heard about these great open space areas the Colorado has, so we checked out the White Ranch Park.  This was a unique park because after summiting Belcher Hill, we dropped down into a beautiful pre-fall wonderland and even roused a mule deer doe and fawn.  However, after looping through a series of trails, we also had view of the sprawl that is the Denver area.  I couldn’t believe that we only saw two people there since it was only a 30 minute drive!

With the weekend rolling around, my friend Steve decided to make the trek from Salt Lake to come have some fun in CO.  Friday we went rock climbing (first time on CO rock for me!) with Whitney and Andrew.  Sydney got to experience being a crag dog, and suffice it to say, I don’t think he was thrilled with it, especially when I was climbing away from him.

I cleaned for the first time and had a slight incident at the end of the last climb…Steve puts it best in his post here: Finding gold in Colorado  🙂 After grabbing some great brews and tasty food with Heather at the Walnut Brewery up in Boulder, we made plans to hit up some mountain biking the next day.

After a slow start, Steve, Heather, her friend Craig and I were ready to hit up Three Sisters Park, which is another great open space area.  I absolutely LOVE riding, but this was more intense than any other stuff I have done to date.  Heather has a great write up on it here: 3 Sisters Mountain Biking.

Whitney belaying Steve as he crushing an intense route

With the great weekend past us, the weather got a bit cooler and rainy a few days.  Sydney got to check out one of the local dog parks and sniff butts a few times, so he was happy.  Our last hike/trail run was at the Matthews/Winters Park. With the traffic of I-70 just over the hill, we combined two trails, Red Rocks and Morrison Slide, for a beautiful final adventure.

Probably looking for a rabbit or squirrel…

CO, you make me happy! See you again soon 🙂

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